So they’re not happy with Obama on a lot of levels. Something has gone wrong in the Obama regime, and the candidate we need to step forward and point it out isn’t whichever Republican manages to limp shame-facedly out of the primaries after agreeing to call Obama a Kenyan.
RUSH: Do you remember a couple of months ago Obama and the Democrats were trying to do away with — I guess during the lame duck session, more than a couple months ago Obama and the Democrats were trying to do away with the Bush tax cut extension. And, remember, Obama and Hillary, even Gates, told us the deficit was a matter of national security. Where’s all that talk now? How come we’re not hearing about that anymore? Why are we not hearing that the deficit, the national debt, what have you, is a matter of national security? You got Paul Ryan’s program out there. You got his proposals and it does contain significant cuts, across the board, a spending freeze. Well, actually a return to spending levels of 2008.
And, by the way, might I just observe that in 2008 elderly people were not dying, people were not being kicked out of their houses because of budget cuts. It mighta happened because of economic disaster brought about by the Democrats, but all of the usual forecasts, all the usual scare tactics, predictions the Democrats gave us in 2008, if we go back to spending levels of 2008 which is essentially what Ryan wants to do, none of the catastrophes that the Democrats talk about were happening then. In fact, if you go back to 2008, a lot of people were saying that level of spending was absurd and way too high. Ezra Klein, cut to the chase here in this piece at the Washington Post: “The conventional wisdom is that Obama is being given a great gift this week by Ryan, whose budget proposes to privatize Medicare and slash Medicaid. But the conventional wisdom might be wrong: Ryan is beginning the debate far to the right. He won’t get everything he wants, but if he gets 50 percent of what he wants, or even 35 percent, it’ll be the most dramatic victory that conservatives have scored against the social safety net in a generation — larger, at least in dollar terms, than anything done to welfare in 1996.”
Now, it is true, skilled negotiators always go in asking for much more than they expect to get, throw in items that are called throwaways, things that you will give up, grudgingly, but you will give them up. You leave yourself some room. Klein is suggesting that Ryan knows this. He’s starting way, way out there on the right. By the time he ends up here, if he gets 50, 35%, it is still a huge and major victory. So at least in the Obama media here they are frightened. They’re thinking Obama might get rolled because they think Obama’s checked out. He’s out playing golf. Where is he? He doesn’t even show up at his own reelection announcement. He puts other people in the video. And he doesn’t even do it live. He does it with social media and so forth.
Audio sound bites. Here’s Pelosi, and this is yesterday talking about Medicaid and Ryan’s budget proposal.
PELOSI: Putting Medicaid into block grants is one way to tie it, put it in a box, tie it with a ribbon and throw it in the deep blue sea. This is the beginning of the end for Medicaid once you block grant it.
RUSH: Yeah, all right. And here’s Bernie Sanders. He was last night on MSNBC Live with Cenk Uygur, and the question, “Senator Sanders, they’ve trying this for decades.” Republicans, of course “But as I just said, I think they’re on the doorstep. I think they’re real close to knocking out Medicare and Medicaid. My top question, the most important question today, how are you going to stop them?”
SANDERS: Cenk, this year some 45,000 Americans are going to die because they don’t get to a doctor on time. If you block grant Medicaid, if you voucherize Medicare, that number is going to soar. So what you are talking about is a life-and-death issue for millions of the American people. Last week we announced that there were ten corporations, ten of the largest corporations in this country who not only paid nothing in taxes, they got substantial rebates. The idea of cutting programs for the weakest and most vulnerable to give tax breaks to the richest and largest corporations is totally grotesque.
RUSH: Now, here we go. The same old cliches for 30 years: we’re cutting the poor, we’re cutting the sick, and the rich and corporations are getting tax cuts. It’s the same old same old for 30 years. The problem is the sick and the elderly are not being kicked out of their houses, and they are not dying for lack of attention from the government. But don’t forget this. I pointed it out yesterday, crony capitalism. Here’s Bernie Sanders doing the same thing that Chris Van Hollen did, you come out, you’ve got your Democrat Party playbook, you’ve got your cliches. “Tax breaks for the rich while the poor and the sick die and go hungry.” Fine. Well, who was it, Mr. Sanders, who arranged for the United Auto Workers to get $202 million in taxpayer money for their early retiree pension plan and health care? Who was it that saw to it that AT&T, another one of your hated, vile corporations, who was it, Mr. Sanders, that saw to it that AT&T gets a $140 million in taxpayer money to pay health care benefits for early retirees? Who was it, Mr. Sanders, that saw to it that, I believe it was Verizon, gets $97 million? It was your president, Barack Hussein Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm, in order to save his precious Obamacare bill.
Now, who is it that’s giving tax breaks to rich corporations? Who is it that is in bed with corporations that could afford their own health care benefits? It’s not John Boehner, it isn’t Paul Ryan, it isn’t Lindsey Graham, it isn’t any of the people that you want point fingers at. It’s your party. It’s your party in bed with the unions, your party in bed with all these corporations, and it’s not just the telecoms, not just AT&T and Verizon. There’s a number of others throughout the whole health care industry, in fact, the insurance industry, you tried to co-opt that. I mean the crony capitalism going on here at the White House on down, whatever is in this budget deal pales in comparison if you’re talking about short-changing the sick or the poor, what have you.
If block grants are so bad, Ms. Pelosi, block grants here to Medicaid, why issue any block grants to the states? The states are living off of block grants. What’s so wrong about Medicare living off of them? “Because we don’t want to privatize any of it.” Of course you don’t want to privatize any of it because you don’t want it to become efficient. You don’t want the private sector to be the source of the solution to any of these problems. You want government to constantly be involved. I’ve been through all this. You know, this 30-year cliche of attack the poor, attack the elderly, attack the sick, tax cuts for the rich, who was it that gave 90% of their campaign money to the Democrats? It was Wall Street banks. I mean you can’t get more rich than that, from Goldman Sachs to AIG to, hell, go down the list. American Express, it doesn’t matter. The vast majority of their campaign contributions went to Obama and other Democrats. Some of them give to both sides just to protect themselves in the payoff racket, but for crying out loud, here, the same old same old.
Congress was completely controlled by Democrats in 2008. They wrote the 2008 budget. Ryan wants to return to 2008 spending levels, and here 45,000 Americans are gonna die because they don’t get to a doctor on time, that’s what Bernie Sanders said. Who’s running the show? Who’s in the White House? You got your health care bill. How come that problem’s not fixed? I don’t believe the problem exists anyway, 45,000 Americans die ’cause they don’t get to the hospital on time or the doctor on time. That’s BS. They throw these numbers out there and they never back ’em up. State Controlled Media never says, “Wait a minute. Could you cite your source for me on this? Give me a list of names. I want to go talk to the families of these 45,000 that died because they didn’t get to the doctor on time. Or maybe some of them are illegals and you don’t know how to reach ’em? What are you talking about, Mr. Sanders?” They constantly portray and paint this country as something that it’s not. We’re the most compassionate, especially where health care and programs for the needy are concerned. There’s nobody that does it better than we do.
Every time the Republicans present a budget, all of a sudden those people are gonna die. Well, Mr. Sanders, we’re going back to 2008 spending levels. You wrote the budget. You signed off on it. None of these problems that you are predicting were happening then. Why are they going to start happening now? And lest we forget, it was Obama who increased spending, federal spending by $4 trillion in just two years. That’s a record. How is it so dramatic, so extreme that somebody is suggesting cutting six trillion in ten years? You raise spending four trillion in two years, money that we don’t have, and now we gotta cut six trillion in ten years and that somehow is extreme?
Somebody at National Review on the website says, “Well, there is an alternative to Ryan’s plan.” And he’s got a good point. Simply here as a rhetorical exercise. There is an alternative to all these budget cuts: tax increases. Well, let me give you the number. And, by the way, folks, this number that I’m gonna give you, a tax rate increase has been in every budget since I have been hosting this program. Every budget contains forecasts of what will be necessary to generate revenue to cover escalating costs. I first became aware of this in the early years of this program. My education continued to skyrocket. I continued to learn about how the budget process takes place and what’s contained, what the CBO does. And they don’t just do one-year budgets. They do ten-year budgets, projections. Each budget that’s signed is only the law for one year, but they still do projections.
And, Snerdley, you’ll remember this, we found in the early nineties that in order to support the coming spending — this is 20 years ago, now — we’re looking at an overall tax rate of 78%. You’ll remember us talking about this if you’d been here for all this time because while talking about that we concluded nobody’s gonna work, nobody will bother going to work if 78% of their income is taken. Well, the 78% has now become 88%. Eighty-eight percent tax rate or Paul Ryan’s budget cuts. Those are the alternatives. Remember the discussion of imputed income on the value of your house for the purposes of income tax. It’s all still in these budgets. It’s all still there. And so everybody agrees we don’t have the money that we’re spending. Everybody agrees, sensible people, that we’ve gotta do something about this if there is to be a future for your children or grandkids and those not yet born. If there’s to be a future, if there is to be a United States as we’ve known it we’ve gotta get this under control. And the two alternatives are you cut the level of spending, or you raise taxes to 88%. Those are the two alternatives. Take your pick.
RUSH: Paul Ryan, this was on CNBC this morning. Prior to his announcement he’s talking about the budget proposal. The co-host, Becky Quick, said, “There’s something to be said for trying to get this argument out there, but the president’s own deficit commission weighed in on these issues, and the conversation very quickly turned away from it to tax cuts. What makes you think that this is actually gonna be something that now gets everybody’s attention?”
RYAN: We took dozens of recommendations from the deficit commission from the general accountability office and put it in this budget, so we’re basically trying to take what they did and build on it and go forward. And, look, shame on the Democrats, shame on the president. If he, knowing that we’re going toward a debt crisis, demagogues this issue, plays politics with this issue and does nothing about it, we don’t need politicians around here these days. We need leaders to tackle these challenges before they get out of control, Becky. I mean you just can’t keep kicking this can down the road, and what we now know is we can preempt the debt crisis. This budget shows you it’s not too late to get this under control, no changes to anybody in and near retirement, and we can get this economy growing again.
RUSH: Paul Ryan is serious, and in the standard operating procedure of life in America, that would count, that would matter. I hope it still does. But he’s serious. He’s not playing this as a politician. He’s playing this as a leader to fix it. He’s right. You can’t keep kicking the can down the road. I talked to him yesterday. There will be no cuts to current seasoned citizens, retired or not. There will not be any cuts. If there are cuts, they’re gonna oppose it, nothing else will happen. There are some hard, cold realities that even Ryan understands that have to be dealt with here. One hundred percent purity is not gonna get anything done on any issue, particularly this. So this is a tacit acknowledgment here that current retirees, seasoned citizens operating under the belief that they have a deal, they made the deal long ago, they paid into it, they expect their payout now. He doesn’t want to touch it, doesn’t even want to go there. The Democrats are gonna demagogue it. Ryan wants them to.
This is the difference. Ryan wants them taking shots. Ryan wants them to try to blow holes through all of this. He’s such a strong believer in the merits of what he has presented that an honest answer to every objection will win the day. Facts matter. This is what he believes. So you have that premise, facts matter, up against the Democrats and the media owning the narrative. And we’ll see where that falls out this time.
RUSH: Once again John Boehner saying no agreement reached in the White House meeting on the continuing resolution on the budget, which is what the White House wants. The White House wants a shutdown, despite the fact Politico is reporting here today that “House Republicans Prepare Shutdown Plan.” They quote the Democrats as saying Republicans are the only ones talking shutdown. Not really. The White House is talking about one as well. So here we are at Tuesday, the day is Friday for the supposed government shutdown. Eric Cantor, Republican leadership, says “the White House is increasing the odds of a shutdown.”
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